NEWS - Thursday, November 8, 2001



Outstanding Publisher Support in Key Game Categories Ensures Success and Momentum at Launch

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 8, 2001 — The best action game ever developed. The best fighting game ever made. The best sports game that gamers have ever played. Those are just a few of the comments from video game experts and enthusiasts about the launch portfolio of games for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft Corp.

The top video game developers in the world have taken advantage of the unparalleled power of Xbox to produce an incredible array of titles that will appeal to the varied tastes of gamers everywhere. The world’s most powerful game system will be available on Nov. 15 in North America with 15 to 20 games available by the week of launch. These launch games, and others available shortly afterward, will set the standard for the future of video game entertainment.

Microsoft® Game Studios presents five exclusive titles at launch, including:

· “Halo™,” the much-anticipated sci-fi shooter, takes place on a mysterious alien ring-world. Packed with combat, “Halo” will have players battling on foot, in vehicles, indoors and outdoors with alien and human weaponry. The objective: to destroy mankind’s sworn enemy, the Covenant.

· “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee™” brings Oddworld to life in full 3-D. Players embark on a journey through a changing world of oddball creatures, off-the-wall action and outlandish goons. Players guide aquatic Gabbit champion Munch™ and Mudokon partner Abe™ in their third adventure across Oddworld.

· “NFL™ Fever 2002” combines fast and hard-hitting action with deep season and career modes. Featuring stadiums from all 31 NFL teams and enabling players to participate in up to 25 seasons, “NFL Fever 2002” allows players to amass both individual and team trophies as well as build dynasties, season after season.

· “Project Gotham Racing™” is the future-generation racing game where fun and reward come from focusing equally on speed, flair and risk-taking. Players choose from more than 25 different cars and compete on more than 200 city-based circuits in photo-realistic downtown environments in San Francisco, Tokyo, London and New York.

· “Fuzion Frenzy™” is a nonstop party game with an edge, combining the continuous, frenetic action of a futuristic street sport with the action-packed fun of minigames. Set in a dynamic 3-D urban environment with six arenas and more than 45 minigames, “Fuzion Frenzy” provides competitive fun for up to four players.

“There’s never been a better time to be a gamer,” said Ed Fries, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Whether you love sports, racing or action games, Xbox will deliver an awesome experience. Come Nov. 15, gamers will be blown away!”

Top developers from around the world have joined with Xbox to add to the impressive launch portfolio. “Dead or Alive 3™” from Tecmo, with its stunning graphics and unequaled gameplay, is already drawing rave reviews and is being hailed as the best game ever made for the fighting genre.

Other titles available the week of launch include “Madden NFL™ 2002,” “NASCAR Thunder™ 2002” and “Cel Damage™” from Electronic Arts; “NHL Hitz™ 20-02” from Midway; “NASCAR Heat 2002™,” “TransWorld Surf™”and “Test Drive Off Road — Wide Open™” from Infogrames; “Mad Dash™ Racing” from Eidos; TDK’s “Shrek”; “4x4 Evo 2” from Godgames; “Dark Summit” from THQ; “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2x” from Activision; and Konami’s “AirForce Delta Storm™.”

“In addition to our blockbuster launch-week lineup, gamers can look forward to electrifying games to come in the near future from world-renowned publishers like SegaÒ, Capcom, Namco, Acclaim, Interplay, Take-Two, Ubi Soft Entertainment, LucasArts, Crave and Sierra Entertainment™,” said J Allard, general manager of the Xbox platform at Microsoft. “Xbox has arrived, and the future of gaming has never looked brighter.

About 20 additional titles will be released between the first week of launch and the end of the holiday season, providing gamers with a constant stream of great games from the top developers.

“When we first announced the development of Xbox 19 months ago, we promised to remove the shackles from developers and enable them to realize their own creative visions for video games without being hampered by limited power,” Allard said. “Our launch portfolio of games demonstrates that Xbox developers have been able to accomplish the goal of unparalleled gameplay experiences. The result is that gamers will be able to enjoy incredible video game experiences starting Nov. 15.”


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